Jesus in HD 104: Amazing Love, How Can It Be?

Jesus in HD 104: Amazing Love, How Can It Be? March 27, 2015



From Dewey Bertolini, Pastor of The Safe Haven in McMinnville, OR:

Well, I’ve got good news for you. Great news, at least as far as Jesus and His disciples were concerned. Just in case you were worried about this.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, Jesus finally got a break in the action.

Finally, mercifully, after His enormously long and draining and tiring day — in which He taught a series of seven parables, sailed to the other side of the sea, stilled a raging storm, sent two thousand or more demons to flight, healed a bleeding woman, raised a dead girl, all of which we have discussed in minute detail over the past (if you can believe it) four months — that one singularly momentous day has now finally come to an end.

Then, after an indefinite period of time, Jesus and His disciples once again took to the road. No sooner did Jesus get out the door, He was met by two blind men, begging Him to heal them.

It is most interesting that of the three Gospel-writers — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — who gave us the record of Jesus’ so-called longest day, it is only Matthew who recorded this encounter with the two blind men.

I have got to ask the reason why. Why did Matthew, and only Matthew include this story? Especially given the fact that we have seen Jesus heal the blind before. This was old news.

Or was it?

Trust me when I suggest that after hearing about this singularly significant story, you may never view God’s love for you the same way again.

Yes, THIS story is THAT significant.

Let’s begin by reading Matthew 9:27-

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

I am very intrigued by this passage, because Matthew is the only one of the four Gospel writers to include this story.  What made this moment so important to Matthew that he had to include it?  I’m also intrigued because Jesus healing blind people isn’t “news”.  We read about it before in Luke 7:21

21 At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind.

Well, the first reason why Matthew, and only Matthew, mentions this story of the two blind men approaching Jesus is because Matthew wrote to a predominantly Jewish audience; and believe it or not, this story is uniquely Jewish in nature.  Contrarily, Mark and Luke were not writing to a predominantly Jewish audience, which explains why it was omitted from their synoptic Gospels.

It is uniquely Jewish because it is the very first time in Jesus’ ministry when He was identified publicly as “Son of David”.  This meant everything to every Jew reading Matthew’s masterpiece.

You see, if we go all the way back to the very first verse of the New Testament, Matthew 1:1, we read this:

“This is the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David…”

We don’t even get eight words into the New Testament before encountering the all-important title of “Son of David”.  These words go all the way back to what many consider the most significant covenant between God and His people – the Davidic covenant found in 2 Samuel.

This promise from God declared, “Your house, David, and your kingdom will continue before Me for all time and your throne will be secure forever.”  This means even today in the 21st century!

Jeremiah reaffirms this covenant when he wrote:

“For the time is coming”, says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5)

But was this covenant really about David?  As I read these passages, it’s as if I am holding up a mirror.  God’s Davidic promise wasn’t just about David.  It’s about you, me and the heart of Jesus.

Now here’s the thing.  We’re all wired a little bit different from one another, right?  For me, I need pictures.  That’s how I’m wired.  I am very visual.  To fully understand something, textbook definitions are helpful, but they really don’t do it for me.  Propositional truth leaves my heart cold, because while I know what the words mean, I still don’t have a picture of it, even when “it” is God’s unconditional love.  This is why I love the narrative stories of the Bible so much.

Now, according to many Jews around the world, David is the single most important king, governmental figure, and maybe even figure of Jewish history.  At the very least, he’s in the top three with Abraham and Moses.  He’s listed in the Bible more than any other person, with the single exception of Jesus.  Yet, what’s crazy is that when we first encounter David in the Bible, Israel is in a freefall and David is all but invisible. (1 Samuel 16:1-13)  David was considered too small and insignificant to his own father and brothers, and Samuel as well.  Yet not to God.  God knew that David was “a man after God’s own heart” and after he was pointed out by God to Samuel and anointed, we read that “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on.”

But, was David any greater of a person than the rest of us?

After all, he was gifted, chosen by God and chose to love God from a boy all the way to his dying breath. 

Yet, he was definitely not without his faults.  It’s chronicled how he followed his lust into adultery and murder.  He was a terrible father and mentor to his sons (two of them tried to kill him).  He hastily judged and was reprimanded by Nathan the prophet.

He’s a great example of how we ought not judge people by absolute “black and white” standards.

He was a living, breathing, walking and talking contradiction in Godliness and failure.   Just.  Like.  Us.

And God loved him, just like He loves you and me.

So, when the two blind men who were following Jesus called out to Him as the “Son of David”, even their unseeing eyes could see the reality of God’s unconditional love promised in the Davidic Covenant.

You see, so much of the teaching from today’s pastors focus on helping you to believe in God.  Perhaps the lesson of David is for you to know, and never forget, that God believes in you.  No matter what.

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